Pop-up Twilight Market coming to the Southside next month
The Gympie South State Primary School P and C Markets will hold a Pop-Up Twilight Market on Friday, August 14, from 5-9pm, a Kids and Baby Market on August 9, and their usual Sunday Market from 7am to 12noon this weekend, with Sunday stall sites costing just $10.
The school is battling to keep its Sunday Markets alive, after the Gympie Show Society set up in direct competition on the same two Sundays each month, and at the same time.
The Show Society appears to have no intention of changing its market days.
The Southside School Markets are held every second and fourth Sunday of the Month from 7am to 12noon.
All funds raised from the Markets go to the P&C to assist us with supporting the school community.
By supporting the markets you are supporting the Gympie South Primary P&C.
Stall Bookings can be done by contacting 0418 151 352
THE Gympie South State School and Gympie Show Society are at an impasse over the Show Society’s decision to hold its markets on the same day and same time as the school’s, a move the school P&C says is killing its markets.
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Show Society president Graham Engeman was not backing away yesterday from the decision, saying the school was funded by the “taxpayer and will operate for decades to come” and that its markets made money for additional school activities such as equipment and end of year trip subsidies.
The Show Society is in dire financial straights and Mr Engeman said he believed having the two markets on the same day would benefit both markets and create a Eumundi Market kind of experience. The school P&C had been given the opportunity to work with the showgrounds to improve the market experience “but declined absolutely,” he said. In addition, many stall holders attending the Show markets were new and “had not nor would they go to the school market”.
But the school, which has 480 students, does not see things that way and is pleading with the Show Society to reconsider.
“Our markets were established by a small group of Gympie South parents and have been running on our ovals for over 40 years,” Gympie South Primary P&C Association president Sharon James said on Friday.
“We were approached by the Show Society asking if we would like to cease our markets to allow them to run theirs. We declined this offer as it has been the biggest contributor to our fundraising income.
“Our small committee then met with them again to discuss our restrictions due to COVID and highlighted that we were not able to reopen our markets until Sunday, July 12, as we are on an Education Queensland site.
“The Show Society discussed that they would like to run markets at the same time as ours and we expressed our concerns with our stall holders being affected by this.
“We suggested they run two markets on the weekends before we were able to reopen.
“Our last communication from the Show Society was that they were only going to run these two pop-up markets to assist our stall holders during our extended forced lockdown.
“We were then informed via their public facebook posts that they were continuing their markets. No further communication was received. Many of our stall holders have now left our markets due to the popularity of the ‘new’ showgrounds markets. We are deeply disappointed that these markets weren’t organised for another day or time.
“There has been no consideration for our small committee who work tirelessly to provide these markets for our community and struggle to raise funds for the benefit of students at our school.
The school has now been forced to reduce its stall fees in the hope to entice new stallholders.
“We would love the Gympie South P&C Markets to continue to exist for the community and our group of loyal stallholders, but mostly for the benefit of our students, staff and school community,” Mrs James said.
Mr Engeman said “the Showgrounds admin was approached by a school stallholder to hold markets as the school market was closed and the number of stalls there seem to had dwindled over time”.
“The admin committee asked the Show to investigate. The Show met the P&C president who stated that the school markets were restricted in growth due to the use of ovals and lack of support by parents and changes in the school admin over time.
“The idea of the school using the showgrounds was discussed and various ways of school involvement in a showgrounds market were also spoken of.
“The admin committee met and decided to hold two markets in June. The Show was to run them as it fitted the Show structures. Both show and grounds admin benefit from markets.
“The school P&C declined any involvement with Showgrounds markets via a letter.
“The June markets were a huge success and so much positive patron and stall holder response was received urging the markets to continue that the grounds admin met and decided to continue the markets on the same Sunday as the school so as to complement their market and create a more viable drawcard to patrons and stall holders,” Mr Engeman said.
“The school P&C (Bevan Webb and Chris Anderson) both told me that only two stall holders were unhappy with the school and their records show 100 stalls at each of their markets.
“The showgrounds offer patrons and stalls bitumen access, on-site parking and will operate twice a month every month of the year unlike the school which reportedly cancelled at various times and had limited access. Disability patrons really appreciate the access to the Showgrounds and the wide variety of food stalls has been a real hit.
“The school is funded by the taxpayer and will operate for decades to come. The P&C income, as with all such bodies, provides additional school activities such as equipment, end of year trip subsidy etc. The students’ education and needs are entirely met by the State Education Department. P&C provide extras.
“The Show and Turf Club lease the Showgrounds and are largely self funded and in an extreme financial position due to the Covid 19 economic crisis. The students at ALL schools look forward to the annual Show and many local schools gain funds from the Show.
“Many of their parents go to the races. Both the Show and Turf Club could cease if their ability to raise funds is denied. It takes all year to prepare for a three day Show and we cannot shut the doors and wait for next May. Keeping it going has a great personal cost to many of us as volunteers but the benefit to the social health of our community warrants the effort and community support.
“The school P&C have made comment on social media that the Show has received $60,000 from the federal government. UNTRUE. We only know that funds are to be shared by all Shows in Australia but have had no further advise as to any amount or when. The State government allocates a grant based on the annual Show patron numbers but no advice to date as to whether any funds will be forthcoming or not.
“Council sponsorship of the Show was returned as the Show did not happen. Showgirl/Rural Ambassador events have not been held for COVID reasons. There is still a lot of uncertainty as to whether there will be a Show next year or the public allowed back to a race meeting.
“But the School will still operate. For the sake of the stall operators and Gympie business and patrons, the markets need to expand, succeed and receive positive community support so all parties benefit.”
Teh Gympie South P&C has “a very small committee of about seven members” so does not have the manpower to run stalls themselves.
“We have a paid convenor that runs the market on the day and our treasurer takes bookings in the lead up (unpaid position),” Mrs James said.
“Since the showgrounds market our convenor has left and we now need to use our already busy committee to volunteer to do the convenor role as well.
“The Show Society offered that we could run parking and charge people but we don’t have the manpower to operate this regularly and we don’t think it’s right to charge parking when there have been Southside markets for a long time with no such arrangement.
“We are so grateful to our small group of loyal stallholders and we’re happy to see people attending both markets last weekend.
“We have had a couple of vocal disgruntled ex stallholders who have encouraged this with the Show Society.
“They weren’t happy when we closed the markets over the heat of summer even though this was done based on feedback from the stallholders. Some of these stalls were illegally set up in our carpark during our COVID shutdown time.
“They haven’t been happy with new tightened processes our committee have brought in over the last 18 months following an audit we had conducted on our P&C which highlighted some area of improvement.”